Name: Janet Slater Bottin
Date of birth: 25 September 1940
Place of birth: Masterton
Now living in: Otaki
- What is your favourite food?
- This changes from time to time. Favourite of the moment is real-fruit yoghurt icecream. Second best: cheese sandwiches.
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- Performing at a charity concert and discovering I’d placed my music on the stand upside-down.
- How do you relax?
- Walks on the beach or bike-rides through the countryside.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- A teacher in Form Two (Year Eight), who was the first to recognise and encourage my writing ability. Also a cousin of the same age who introduced me to the Evening Post newspaper’s "Children’s Page", to which we both contributed.
- What were you like at school?
- Very shy and inclined to daydream.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Favourite: reading, writing stories, art and running.
Most hated: hand-sewing fiddly things like drawn-thread work. I repeatedly "forgot" to take my sewing on lesson days which ultimately led to a sound dose of "six-of-the-best".
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- Probably (if we were talking about authors) Charles Dickens, or Louisa Alcott. Or C.S. Lewis. Or maybe Lewis Carroll. Or, then again…
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- A.A. Milne.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- My head is full of exciting thoughts and interesting ideas that just have to come out. Writing them down and sharing them with others is a very satisfying and enjoyable thing to do.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- I do my long-hand writing in scrapbooks and have some favourite cafes where I’m almost part of the furniture. I work on the computer at home, in our little beach bach.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Best thing: having children tell me how much they’ve enjoyed a book I’ve written.
Worst thing: having work returned for various reasons.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- An illustrator.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Don’t give up. An author needs to be "made of rubber" so that she/he can "bounce back" and not be knocked flat by work that is returned. Believe you can do it - and do it!
My motto: Get over it - and get on with it!
This interview is from 2002.